30.03.2021, 15:37

‘Unique in the West’: A collection of hundreds of old oil lamps and incandescent lamps

In the midst of modern life, Mr. Cao Thanh Tuan (37 years old) is still diligently studying old oil lamps and bamboo-shoots to create a collection of ‘unique to the West‘.

‘Unique in the West’: A collection of hundreds of old oil lamps and incandescent lamps

The oil lamps displayed by Mr. Cao Thanh Tuan in the old wooden cabinet are extremely beautiful.PHOTO: DUY TAN

There are not many players playing kerosene lamps and lanterns in the West, because it takes a lot of work to get a collection of a few hundred pieces. Therefore, the collection of Mr. Cao Thanh Tuan (37 years old, living in District. Ninh Kieu, Can Tho City ) is considered ‘ unique in the West ‘.Admiring Mr. Tuan’s collection of more than 200 oil lamps and 300 incandescent lamps, we were surprised by many of the oil lamps that were still intact and displayed in a beautiful old wooden cabinet.


Hundreds of colorful oil lampsPHOTO: DUY TAN

Presenting many unique lanterns, Mr. Tuan said that it took more than a year to hunt for him to get this collection. Most of the oil lamps that Mr. Tuan bought just need to replace the lamp. As for the headlight, he installed the ball to decorate it more beautifully.


Finding the lamps that are still almost untouched is also very meticulous and costlyPHOTO: DUY TAN

According to Mr. Tuan, kerosene lamps began to appear in Vietnam in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Gradually, in addition to their lighting function, kerosene lamps could also be decorated, so they could be produced in a variety of shapes. color. “The hobby of playing kerosene lamps is also very meticulous because when someone collects oil lamps, we want to buy them back, we have to pay a very high price,” Mr. Tuan said.


The oil lamps are fitted with decorative mounting bracketsPHOTO: DUY TAN
The oil lamps bought from him are sometimes removed and assembled by Mr. Tuan to create beautiful designsPHOTO: DUY TAN

Regarding the incinerator lamp, Mr. Tuan said that in the past, there was no electricity as now, most of them had to use kerosene lamps, so anyone with a burst lamp in their family must say that it is precious. In the village, whichever house owns a burning lampshade is also considered to own a “light treasure”, attracting children in the area every night to have fun.“Any home that owns a torch is very precious. 

Turning on the light is to brighten an area, and the children in the neighborhood gathered to play under the lights. I remember the scene of pumping oil, adjusting the lights, boiling a bamboo net, and eating rice with my family happy. 

Since then, I have determined to collect incandescent lamps and have more than 300 trees. Including many brass lamps of Aida and Petromax, Star Max … extremely rare “, Mr. Tuan shared. The bamboo-shoots in Mr. Tuan’s collection are mostly new. As for the old trees that were damaged, he hired a mechanic to restore them. “When buying bamboo shoots, they often leak oil tanks, lose conical hats…

At that time, I had to contact the conical cone maker and order a few dozen at a time. As for the oiled rust from the storage tank, one is hiring a welder, the other is attaching a Led light bulb to hang the light, ”Mr. Tuan said.


Burmese lantern collection is decorated by Mr. Tuan and hung all over the ceilingPHOTO: DUY TAN
The light of the lantern is reminiscent of Tuan’s childhoodPHOTO: DUY TAN

Mr. Tuan expressed his heart that for him, the hobby of playing with old kerosene lamps and lanterns was not only for the purpose of displaying, lighting but also for contemplating and enjoying a light artwork full of childhood memories. party friends, family. At this point, he will continue to increase the number of oil lamps, incandescent lamps for this ‘unique Western’ collection. Follow Thanh Nien Online